After the Celtics got annihilated in the semi’s to Milwaukee, Terry Rozier sounded off about how he really felt in regards to his situation on the team. The reason I loved him as a Celtic was his passion and his junkyard dog attitude and I expect nothing less from him after the way this season went. He said he sacrificed more than anyone on the team this year and he’s not wrong.
Every time Kyrie rested or when he finally shut down his season last year, Terry was there to pick up the slack. Every time the Celtics needed a boost, Terry was there to hit a big 3. Every time the Celtics needed a comeback, who was there? Terry. The reason the Celtics were so fun last year was much to do with Terry Rozier. It was all about the gritty players who came seemingly out of no where. It was about Terry stepping up. Marcus Morris stepping up. Jaylen Brown stepping up. Aron Baynes stepping up. Jayson Tatum stepping up and even Shane Larkin stepping up. The team was absolute electricity and then they had the issue most teams would love: Throwing two superstars coming off injuries into the mix.
I have my gripes with both Kyrie and Gordon but I’ll set them aside for this one reason: When you have a big name and you’re getting paid a lot of money, you have to play. Hayward probably shouldn’t have played half the amount of minutes that he did and while he showed signs of being back, he never really got back. Kyrie is not only a fantastic talent, but he’s also a very strong personality. Mixing those two things into a team that meshed so well together, while we all thought things were going to be better for them, was not ideal. Every young guy on the team thought they deserved more playing time, more shots, a bigger role. And they did. They all deserved that based off of what they did the year prior, but guys had to make sacrifices and no one made a bigger one than Terry did.
This morning, Rozier went on First Take and they straight up asked him “Do you want to be a Celtic next year?” And he said “Nah. I might have to go. I put up with a lot this year.” I do not blame you one bit.
On the flip side to this, Rozier believes he’s a top point guard in the league, and while that mentality is awesome, he was never a consistent player in Boston, even when the full load was his. He needed to be feeling it to be effective and wasn’t a guy who would make up for his impact in other ways when he wasn’t scoring the ball. Raymond Felton once thought he was the best point guard in the league as well, I hope Terry doesn’t have the same fate he did.
We may never get to know the issues the Celtics had behind the scenes. If they liked each other, if they liked Kyrie and Hayward, if they were all being selfish. I hope we do, I hope we get a memoir on the 2018-19 Boston Celtics because it would be a fascinating one. But we probably won’t.